The novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL) for testing nonsense suppression therapy.
ABSTRACT: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), also known as Batten disease, are a group of autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders in children characterized by the progressive onset of seizures, blindness, motor and cognitive decline and premature death. Patients with mutations in CLN1 primarily manifest with infantile NCL (INCL or Haltia-Santavuori disease), which is second only to congenital NCL for its age of onset and devastating progression. CLN1 encodes a lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1). Nonsense mutations in CLN1 account for 52.3% of all disease causing alleles in infantile NCL, the most common of which worldwide is the p.R151X mutation. Previously, we have shown how nonsense-mediated decay is involved in the degradation of CLN1 mRNA transcripts containing the p.R151X mutation in human lymphoblast cell lines. We have also shown how the read-through drugs gentamicin and ataluren (PTC124) increase CLN1 (PPT1) enzyme activity. Here, we provide the initial characterization of the novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis that we have generated. This nonsense mutation model recapitulates the molecular, histological and behavioral phenotypes of the human disease. Cln1(R151X) mice showed a significant decrease in Cln1 mRNA level and PPT1 enzyme activity, accumulation of autofluorescent storage material, astrocytosis and microglial activation in the brain. Behavioral characterization of Cln1(R151X) mice at 3 and 5 months of age revealed significant motor deficits as measured by the vertical pole and rotarod tests. We also show how the read-through compound ataluren (PTC124) increases PPT1 enzyme activity and protein level in Cln1(R151X) mice in a proof-of-principle study.
Project description:About 10% of inherited diseases are caused by nonsense mutations [Trends Mol Med 18 (2012) 688], and nonsense suppression drug therapy promoting translation through premature stop codons is an emerging therapeutic approach. Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disease, results from mutations in the CLN1 gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) [Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1806, Hum Mutat (2012) 63, Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1881]. The nonsense mutation p.R151X is the most common disease-causing CLN1 mutation Hum Mutat (2012) 63. In the novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of INCL, we found large, tissue-specific variations in Cln1(R151X) mRNA level and PPT1 residual enzyme activity. These tissue-specific differences strongly influenced the read-through efficiency of ataluren (PTC124), a well-known nonsense suppression drug. A two-day treatment with ataluren (10 mg/kg) increased PPT1 enzyme activity in the liver and muscle, but not in any other tissue examined. Our study identifies a new challenge/hurdle for read-through drug therapy: variable efficiency of read-through therapy in the different tissues/organs because of tissue-specific variations in nonsense mutant transcript levels.
Project description:Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), a lethal hereditary neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder, affects mostly children. It is caused by inactivating mutations in the palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1(PPT1) gene. Nonsense mutations in a gene generate premature termination codons producing truncated,nonfunctional or deleterious proteins. PPT1 nonsense-mutations account for approximately 31% of INCL patients in the US. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this disease. While aminoglycosides such asgentamycin suppress nonsense mutations, inherent toxicity of aminoglycosides prohibits chronic use inpatients. PTC124 is a non-toxic compound that induces ribosomal read-through of premature termination codons. We sought to determine whether PTC124-treatment of cultured cells from INCL patients carrying nonsense mutations in the PPT1 gene would correct PPT1 enzyme-deficiency with beneficial effects. Our results showed that PTC124-treatment of cultured cells from INCL patients carrying PPT1 nonsense-mutations induced PPT1 enzymatic activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This low level of PPT1 enzyme activity induced by PTC124 is virtually identical to that induced by gentamycin-treatment. Even though only a modest increase in PPT1 activity was achieved by PTC124-treatment of INCL cells, this treatment reduced the levels of thioester (constituent of ceroid) load. Our results suggest that PTC124-treatment induces PPT1 enzymatic activity in cultured cells from INCL patients carrying PPT1 nonsense-mutations, and this modest enzymatic activity has demonstrable beneficial effects on these cells. The clinical relevance of these effects may be tested in animal models of INCL carrying nonsense mutations in the PPT1 gene.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of devastating monogenetic lysosomal disorders that affect children and young adults with no cure or effective treatment currently available. One of the more severe infantile forms of the disease (INCL or CLN1 disease) is due to mutations in the palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) gene and severely reduces the child's lifespan to approximately 9 years of age. In order to better translate the human condition than is possible in mice, we sought to produce a large animal model employing CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. Three PPT1 homozygote sheep were generated by insertion of a disease-causing PPT1 (R151X) human mutation into the orthologous sheep locus. This resulted in a morphological, anatomical and biochemical disease phenotype that closely resembles the human condition. The homozygous sheep were found to have significantly reduced PPT1 enzyme activity and accumulate autofluorescent storage material, as is observed in CLN1 patients. Clinical signs included pronounced behavioral deficits as well as motor deficits and complete loss of vision, with a reduced lifespan of 17?±?1 months at a humanely defined terminal endpoint. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed a significant decrease in motor cortical volume as well as increased ventricular volume corresponding with observed brain atrophy and a profound reduction in brain mass of 30% at necropsy, similar to alterations observed in human patients. In summary, we have generated the first CRISPR/Cas9 gene edited NCL model. This novel sheep model of CLN1 disease develops biochemical, gross morphological and in vivo brain alterations confirming the efficacy of the targeted modification and potential relevance to the human condition.
Project description:Mutations in at least 13 different genes (called CLNs) underlie various forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), a group of the most common neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases. While inactivating mutations in the CLN1 gene, encoding palmitoyl-protein thioesterases-1 (PPT1), cause infantile NCL (INCL), those in the CLN3 gene, encoding a protein of unknown function, underlie juvenile NCL (JNCL). PPT1 depalmitoylates S-palmitoylated proteins (constituents of ceroid) required for their degradation by lysosomal hydrolases and PPT1-deficiency causes lysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid leading to INCL. Because intracellular accumulation of ceroid is a characteristic of all NCLs, a common pathogenic link for these diseases has been suggested. It has been reported that CLN3-mutations suppress the exit of cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor (CI-M6PR) from the trans Golgi network (TGN). Because CI-M6PR transports soluble proteins such as PPT1 from the TGN to the lysosome, we hypothesized that CLN3-mutations may cause lysosomal PPT1-insufficiency contributing to JNCL pathogenesis. Here, we report that the lysosomes in Cln3-mutant mice, which mimic JNCL, and those in cultured cells from JNCL patients, contain significantly reduced levels of Ppt1-protein and Ppt1-enzyme activity and progressively accumulate autofluorescent ceroid. Furthermore, in JNCL fibroblasts the V0a1 subunit of v-ATPase, which regulates lysosomal acidification, is mislocalized to the plasma membrane instead of its normal location on lysosomal membrane. This defect dysregulates lysosomal acidification, as we previously reported in Cln1 -/- mice, which mimic INCL. Our findings uncover a previously unrecognized role of CLN3 in lysosomal homeostasis and suggest that CLN3-mutations causing lysosomal Ppt1-insuffiiciency may at least in part contribute to JNCL pathogenesis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) comprise at least eight genetically characterized neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. Despite of genetic heterogeneity, the high similarity of clinical symptoms and pathology of different NCL disorders suggest cooperation between different NCL proteins and common mechanisms of pathogenesis. Here, we have studied molecular interactions between NCL proteins, concentrating specifically on the interactions of CLN5, the protein underlying the Finnish variant late infantile form of NCL (vLINCLFin).<h4>Results</h4>We found that CLN5 interacts with several other NCL proteins namely, CLN1/PPT1, CLN2/TPP1, CLN3, CLN6 and CLN8. Furthermore, analysis of the intracellular targeting of CLN5 together with the interacting NCL proteins revealed that over-expression of PPT1 can facilitate the lysosomal transport of mutated CLN5FinMajor, normally residing in the ER and in the Golgi complex. The significance of the novel interaction between CLN5 and PPT1 was further supported by the finding that CLN5 was also able to bind the F1-ATPase, earlier shown to interact with PPT1.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We have described novel interactions between CLN5 and several NCL proteins, suggesting a modifying role for these proteins in the pathogenesis of individual NCL disorders. Among these novel interactions, binding of CLN5 to CLN1/PPT1 is suggested to be the most significant one, since over-expression of PPT1 was shown to influence on the intracellular trafficking of mutated CLN5, and they were shown to share a binding partner outside the NCL protein spectrum.
Project description:Neurodegeneration is a devastating manifestation in the majority of >50 lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are the most common childhood neurodegenerative LSDs. Mutations in 13 different genes (called CLNs) underlie various types of NCLs, of which the infantile NCL (INCL) and congenital NCL (CNCL) are the most lethal. Although inactivating mutations in the CLN1 gene encoding palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1) cause INCL, those in the CLN10 gene encoding cathepsin D (CD) underlie CNCL. PPT1 is a lysosomal thioesterase that cleaves the thioester linkage in S-acylated proteins required for their degradation by lysosomal hydrolases like CD. Thus, PPT1 deficiency causes lysosomal accumulation of these lipidated proteins (major constituents of ceroid) leading to INCL. We sought to determine whether there is a common pathogenic link between INCL and CNCL. Using biochemical, histological and confocal microscopic analyses of brain tissues and cells from Cln1(-/-) mice that mimic INCL, we uncovered that Cln10/CD is overexpressed. Although synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum, the CD-precursor protein (pro-CD) is transported through endosome to the lysosome where it is proteolytically processed to enzymatically active-CD. We found that despite Cln10 overexpression, the maturation of pro-CD to enzymatically active-CD in lysosome was disrupted. This defect impaired lysosomal degradative function causing accumulation of undegraded cargo in lysosome leading to INCL. Notably, treatment of intact Cln1(-/-) mice as well as cultured brain cells derived from these animals with a thioesterase-mimetic small molecule, N-tert-butyl-hydroxylamine, ameliorated the CD-processing defect. Our findings are significant in that they define a pathway in which Cln1 mutations disrupt the maturation of a major degradative enzyme in lysosome contributing to neuropathology in INCL and suggest that lysosomal CD deficiency is a common pathogenic link between INCL and CNCL.
Project description:Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders with lysosomal pathology (CLN1-14). Recently, mutations in the DNAJC5/CLN4 gene, which encodes the presynaptic co-chaperone CSP? were shown to cause autosomal-dominant NCL. Although 14 NCL genes have been identified, it is unknown if they act in common disease pathways. Here we show that two disease-associated proteins, CSP? and the depalmitoylating enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1/CLN1) are biochemically linked. We find that in DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains, PPT1 is massively increased and mis-localized. Surprisingly, the specific enzymatic activity of PPT1 is dramatically reduced. Notably, we demonstrate that CSP? is depalmitoylated by PPT1 and hence its substrate. To determine the consequences of PPT1 accumulation, we compared the palmitomes from control and DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains by quantitative proteomics. We discovered global changes in protein palmitoylation, mainly involving lysosomal and synaptic proteins. Our findings establish a functional link between two forms of NCL and serve as a springboard for investigations of NCL disease pathways.
Project description:Homozygous mutations in the gene CLN1 typically result in infantile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a severe progressive neurological disorder with early death. The gene CLN1 encodes the enzyme palmitoyl protein thioesterase (PPT1), which is involved in lysosomal degradation of S-fatty acylated proteins. Cysteamine bitartrate (Cystagon) has been shown to reduce the storage material in PPT1 deficient cells. We report the results of a 7-year, open label, nonrandomized trial using Cystagon in four individuals with juvenile-onset NCL resulting from milder CLN1 mutations. The Cystagon doses were gradually increased with the goal of achieving 50 mg/kg bodyweight. The disease progression was monitored with parental questionnaires in four treated individuals and five untreated controls with the same CLN1 mutations. Mononuclear leukocytes from the treated individuals were examined for submicroscopic lysosomal storage inclusions. Cystagon treatment resulted in decreased storage material in peripheral leukocytes of the treated individuals. No severe side effects were noted. An allergic rash occurred in one of the individuals that required a dose reduction. The treatment did not result in overall attenuation of the disease progression. Slower progression of the disease was observed in two of the individuals when they were analyzed separately. However, slower progression in these individuals was also observed prior to starting the treatment. This effect may have been due to the higher Cystagon dose achieved in this group, but it could also have been coincidental. The apparent lack of toxicity of Cystagon may warrant further Cystagon trials in infantile NCL, possibly in conjunction with other developing therapies.
Project description:A new tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS)-based approach for measurement of the enzymatic activity of palmitoyl protein thioesterase I (PPT1) in dried blood spots (DBS) is presented. Deficiency in this enzyme leads to infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL, Infantile Batten disease, CLN1). The assay could distinguish between 80 healthy newborns and three previously diagnosed INCL patients. Unlike the fluorimetric PPT1 assay, the MS/MS assay does not require recombinant ?-glucosidase. Furthermore, the assay could be easily combined with a TPP1 enzyme assay (for CLN2 disease) and can be potentially multiplexed with a large panel of additional lysosomal enzyme assays by MS/MS for newborn screening and postscreening analysis.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are lysosomal storage diseases characterized by progressive neurodegeneration and accumulation of autofluorescent storage granules. A 9-month-old Miniature Dachshund presented with NCL-like signs that included disorientation, ataxia, weakness, visual impairment, and behavioral changes. Neurons throughout the CNS contained autofluorescent lysosomal inclusions with granular osmiophilic deposit (GROD) ultrastructure characteristic of classical infantile NCL (INCL). Human INCL is an autosomal recessive disorder that results from mutations in PPT1, a gene that encodes the enzyme palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1; EC 3.1.22). Resequencing of PPT1 from the affected dog revealed that the dog was homozygous for a single nucleotide insertion in exon 8 (PPT1 c.736_737insC), upstream from the His289 active site. Brain tissue from this dog lacked PPT1 activity. The sire and dam of the propositus were heterozygous for the c.736_737insC mutation; whereas, 127 unrelated Dachshunds were homozygous for the wild-type allele. This is the first reported instance of canine NCL caused by a mutation in PPT1.